In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6’s echelons.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, based off of the book written by John le Carre, is a movie that has gotten a lot of attention and praise from most every outlet. The first notable thing when looking at this movie is the cast. Lead by the infamous Gary Oldman, this movie includes Colin Firth, John Hurt, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, Tom Hardy, and many others. With all the the aforementioned being originally from England, and the plot being about England, you can imagine how big this movie is over there. Almost an “ode to the country” sort of thing. I think that is a really cool idea for a movie, and after seeing it in action, I can say that it is damn effective, even though I am not English myself.
Read the rest of my review after the break.
The movie is an espionage mystery story about a mole in MI6. George Smiley [Oldman],who is retired after being removed from the MI6, is brought in after the head of the organization, Control [Hurt], dies and his suspicions of a mole are confirmed. The other members of the organization Percy [Jones], Bill [Firth], Toby [David Dencik], and Roy [Ciaran Hinds] are all under suspicion. Smiley, along with his partner Peter Guillam [Benedict Cumberbatch], who is still in the organization, uses information about a recently failed operation, other contacts, and the information of a MI6 field agent named Ricky Tarr [Hardy] to try and uncover the truth.
I don’t want to do the usual review style of reviewing while following the plot line, for the main factor of these types of movies are the details, so I want you to experience all of them yourselves during the movie. The less you know about the storyline and any sort of spoiling material, the better.
If you have seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, it is a similar format and style, only this movie is nowhere near as intense, and is a little more in depth and detailed, easier to get a grasp of. The pacing is consistent and just a bit above slow, which fits the role perfectly. Director Tomas Alfredson [Let the Right One In] does a good job with that and the strong hold that many scenes have involving long takes of Oldman speaking, among other things. Gary Oldman is reserved in his playing of George Smiley, only speaking above a normal tone once in the entire film, but is also very drawing, straightforward and compelling. I haven’t seen many of his dramatic roles, but I’ve still loved what I’ve seen, but this far surpasses my past experiences of Oldman’s acting. An incredible job. You also get exactly how good of a job you think you’d get from every other cast member. One of the best ensemble’s I’ve seen in a long while. The cast really made the movie.
4/4 – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is an extremely well developed and intricately layered espionage mystery thriller, with an incredible cast, lead by Gary Oldman, and equally incredible performances from them.